I have a new goal. I am trying to stay in a room at the Hampton with each of the goofy pictures on the door number. The sad thing is, if I had started these photos when they started the pictures, I may have collected the entire set by now.
Last week, we saw the movie Up In The Air. I really liked the movie, but it got me thinking too much. Without spoiling the plot, the male character in the lead has a sideline of doing motivational speeches where he uses a backpack as a prop to tell the audience to get rid of the excessive baggage they are carrying with them. It's a bit similar to the analogy a drunken woman posed at a wedding of a friend years ago. She walked up and asked if we were from the toybox too. Her analogy was that people carry around old relationships and items like a kid keeps a full toybox. It's too cluttered to find anything (not that one would ever want to), but it's too much pain to clean it out. So at events like weddings, the old friends from the toybox get dragged out for one more round of play. She was a bit cynical, but she had a point.
I had always kept my toybox clean and my backpack light until a few years ago. Now comes the bad part of the movie. It made me start thinking that my backpack was weighed down too much and needed a serious cleaning. In a strange way, I started long before the movie (almost one year ago) without thinking about this when I walked away from a local geocaching web page after a few personal attacks on the site. This weekend I happened to see a couple of friends had joined a truly, ugly hate page on Facebook. That made me realize that Facebook was a part of my life I could do without. I deactivated my account. When you think about it, how much more impersonal can a social network be than one where the majority of your contact with "friends" says I am too busy to contact you personally so come read my wall. I had been trimming the page anyway to get rid of friends' obscenity-filled discussions of how drunk someone was over the weekend, how many tattoos had been gathered, or seeing polls discussing how many embarrassing things people had done in their lives.
The backpack is a lot lighter, but nowhere near where it needs to be. I've never really been a person to look back. I hate the thought that the prospect of fewer years remaining than those that have passed sentences one to a remaining time of looking backward. Think about it. If you've heard the best song you'll ever hear, seen the best movie you'll ever see, found the most exciting geocache you'll ever find, than what's left? If there isn't hope for something newer and brighter on the horizon, what's the point of the journey? We may never find that better song, movie, geocache..., but if we stop the hunt, we stop living. Likewise, if our backpack is so weighed with the past, how can we hunt new adventures with that burden? A few years ago, a friend commented how that person had lost friends over the years and regretted never reaching out to bring them back. I thought of that a long time as I began to purge the toybox. That friend was wrong. I've reached back a few times since she made that statement and discovered that those I reached for had taken a different path and didn't care to be a part of the journey.
Who knows, maybe this blog is a part of the backpack that gets cleaned. Its hits have dropped a lot over the last twelve months, so maybe others have moved on too. We'll see. I'm still pretty easy to find if anyone wants to e-mail. I'm always up for hunting a few caches. It's pretty easy to see on this page if I've found some new, good music to enjoy or what I'm reading at the moment. In the meantime, I think I'll keep my social side off the social sites. Hopefully, sunsets will continue to grow later, and I'll have more light for photos and less space to babble.
but that we waste a lot of it.”
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca